Spring Cloud Reflections

Spring Break officially ended at St. Lawrence University today, but the students haven’t returned to campus. We’ve started remote learning. The structures of campus look the same but feel different when they’re mostly empty.

Spring Cloud Reflections

Views from a Mostly Empty Campus

Our campus’s oldest building (Richardson Hall, just below) and its newest building (Kirk Douglas Hall, farther down) match with a certain degree of symmetry, but while the older building’s symmetry is pretty flawless, the newer building adds wings and windows that disrupt the pattern.

Richardson Face

Kirk Douglas Asymmetry

Fields of St. Lawrence

Battling the breezes of late summer above the fallow fields of the North Country, this image might appear to be capturing the edge of a farm. In fact, this is the southeastern reach of St. Lawrence University’s rural campus. The stables, home of our IHSA riding team, are off in the distance.

Fields of St. Lawrence


The hours I spend in the physics and chemistry labs of St. Lawrence University make me a bit inured to the optical shenanigans occurring when we take Raman spectra of the materials my students synthesize. Still, the effect is pretty fantastic. The grainy pattern of the laser on surfaces around lab is fantastic, but the fluorescence ink on the post-it note in the foreground fluorescing aggressively is pretty cool, too.

Homebuilt Raman Apparatus

That violet-blue light in the background of the shot above is the 405 nm laser we use to initiate photochemical processes. The beam is poorly detected by the camera’s sensor, but the slightest hint of it is visible in the upper third of the image below.

405 nm